UC Professor Sokhom Presents Research Paper

UC Professor Sokhom Presents Research Paper

By Dr. Sovathana Sokhom

On the 11-14th July 2013, Dr. Sovathana Sokhom traveled to the United States to attend the 22nd IAFFE Annual Conference on “Feminist Economists’ Perspectives on Women’s Education and work Across the Globe.” At the conference held at Stanford University, Dr. Sokhom and Dr. Moana Vercoe (her co-author) presented their scholarly research paper entitled “From Self-Esteem to Generalized Social Trust and perceptions of Political Efficacy: Experimental Evidence from Cambodia.”

Cambodia is classified as a Least Development Country. In addition to the challenges of low socioeconomic and human development, Cambodia is emerging from a history of protracted conflict and
atrocity. It faces additional challenges related to the psychological impact of trauma on its population. Many of the countries classified by the United Nations as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) share histories of violence, often from sources within those countries. The legacy of violence creates additional barriers to economic growth, political transition and social development.

Their paper presented findings from an experimental study conducted in Cambodia by examining the relationship between self-esteem, interpersonal trust and perceptions of political efficacy. Results showed that a single session of self-esteem and motivation training resulted in significantly higher (p<0.05) scores on self-esteem and this had flow on effects on political efficacy measures.

These results suggest that training interventions can enhance self-esteem and self-efficacy, and may be a mechanism for promoting greater accountability in the political systems of LDCs attempting to escape the post-conflict poverty trap.

There were many activities during the conference including a pre-conference workshop focused on “Introduction to Feminist Economics.” In addition, there were concurrent sessions offered throughout the conference including sessions on:

  • Women’s Work
  • The Third Stage of Microfinance
  • Moving Towards Full Empowerment
  • Framing International Development Strategies
  • MDGs and Beyond
  • The Primary Education
  • Gender in Post-Conflict Contexts

It was an honor to present this paper and to represent for the University of Cambodia. In addition, this gave me the opportunity to present a scholarly work on Cambodian issues on the international stage. We received positive feedback on our work from those who attended the panel.

The next IAFFE conference will be conducted on January 2-5, 2014. It will be convene at American Economic Association (AEA)/Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) conference in Philadelphia, PA.